The Press Service of the President has presented the evaluations of Lithuania’s presidency of the EU Council by key European Union’s politicians.
President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy: “Let me express my huge gratitude to the Lithuanian Presidency and the Lithuanian President in particular. Dalia, you and your team, have done a wonderful job. From putting last touches to the MFF, or European budget, to spectacular breakthroughs on the Banking Union, a long overdue agreement on posted workers and not forget of course a memorable summit in Vilnius which we prepared closely together. It was really a pleasure to work with you.”
President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso: “With the conclusion of Lithuanian Presidency, the European Union ended the year 2013 on a high note.”
“I want to pay a very sincere tribute to the Lithuanian Presidency and especially President Grybauskaitė in particular. Great job, indeed. The groundwork that has been done to enable so many positive decisions to be taken in the last six months is a tribute to Lithuania and to the very competent and dedicated team that was working around President Grybauskaitė.
“Obviously the situation in Ukraine has overshadowed the fact that there were very important successes at the Vilnius Summit, and once again my congratulations to Lithuania for the excellent work of preparation of this very important Summit. Among those successes, the initialling of the agreements with Georgia and Moldova. It is important that the clear strategic choice of these two countries is not lost. And in fact we have discussed this also today.”
Member of the European Parliament Raffaele Baldassarre (EPP, Italy): “In just 6 months 241 legislative acts have been adopted – two times as many than in most presidencies and I think it shows excellent results achieved by this presidency.
“But it is not only in quantitative terms the Lithuanian Presidency has distinguished itself, it’s mainly through the quality of the work that is done. The passion and excellence of the Lithuanian government and experts has earned the trust and appreciation of this Parliament.”
Member of the European Parliament Adina-Ioana Vălean (ALDE, Romania): “I think that Lithuania had a difficult task ahead of it when it took over the Council Presidency in July 2013. Fortunately, the many hurdles were transformed into opportunities, and that is why I wish to congratulate the Lithuanian Presidency on the results on its mandate.”
Member of the European Parliament Philippe Lamberts (Greens – EFA, Belgium): “Allow me to express my surprise to you. I was not expecting this of Lithuania; it is a small country, a recent democracy. You would be expecting more chaos, but I was actually pleasantly surprised by the skill and competence of your teams. I was surprised by their ability to come forward with proposals when there were difficulties between the Council and the Parliament.”
Member of the European Parliament Dubravka Šuica (EPP, Croatia): “You tackled great challenges of technical and political nature. The results achieved were excellent not just in terms of quantity as you pointed out yourself. We also saw the great energy and vigour shown by the Lithuanian Presidency of the last 6 months.
“You fought against some selfish policies, you set ambitious targets on energy, financial stability and fostering economic growth. (…) When it comes to the Eastern Partnership, I think that Lithuania can set a good example for other countries, it is a country that has overcome the crisis.”
Member of the European Parliament Anneli Jäätteenmäki (ALDE, Finland): “The Lithuanian Presidency was a model presidency. They managed very well, congratulations.”
Member of the European Parliament Tunne Kelam (EPP, Estonia): “It was not only the first Lithuanian, but also the first Baltic Presidency and may I add this was a combined success of all the pro-European process in the country, prepared too by the previous Kubilius government. (…) The Vilnius Summit was well prepared by its host. While the main hopes were not formally met, the Eastern Partnership’s validity has been confirmed by the Ukrainian people’s inspiring verdict in favour of their European future.”
Member of the European Parliament Olle Schmidt (ALDE, Sweden): “I’d like to express my thanks to Lithuania for an excellent presidency. A small country of the EU has done brilliant work and we’re all very impressed. And I myself come from a small country, so I can recall in 2001 we had our first presidency. I know what much it means to a country. So all I can do is to express how impressed and proud I am of what was done.”
Member of the European Parliament Libor Rouček (S&D, Czech Republic): “I would like to congratulate your government and your country. As you mentioned, Lithuania is a young democracy and a small country that had huge tasks that lay ahead of you six months ago. You’ve done very well.”
Member of the European Parliament Marian-Jean Marinescu (EPP, Romania): “The Lithuanian presidency covered an intense period characterized by important negotiations for several key policies. (…) I’d like to congratulate the Presidency because we have finalized policies important for the future, particularly those covering the cohesion policy and agricultural policy.”
Member of the European Parliament Kristiina Ojuland (ALDE, Estonia): “I am very proud of the Lithuanian Presidency because Lithuania is our neighbour in the Baltic countries and I hope that Estonia – my country – will take a lesson from your Presidency’s experience. (…) In the field of foreign policy, hopes were high for the Vilnius Summit. The failure to sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine was not the fault of the Presidency, but rather was due to the shortcomings of a long-term enlargement policy and to Ukraine’s selfish leadership. Nevertheless, the success achieved with Moldova and Georgia should not be underestimated, and hopefully the Council will continue at full speed with the signing of both these agreements before the end of the current parliamentary term.”
Member of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness (EPP, Ireland): “I listened very carefully this morning to the presentation of very effective, efficient and hard-working Presidency. Often the headlines do not really tell the story of a Presidency’s work. (…) But I compliment you on how you handled the Presidency. Well done, Lithuania! Small is beautiful, as Ireland knows.”
Member of the European Parliament Csaba Sándor Tabajdi (S&D, Hungary): “I think that all new Member States are proud of the performance of Lithuania and in fact we had the colleagues saying how surprising it was that Lithuania performed so brilliantly. We don’t know each other enough and were full of prejudices. I think that if we look at Lithuania’s amazing history, culture, paintings, etc., it was not at all surprising, it was to be expected.”
Member of the European Parliament Andrej Plenkovič (EPP, Croatia): “I would like to congratulate our Lithuanian colleagues for their excellent work during the Lithuanian Presidency. It is extremely important for a country like Croatia.”
Member of the European Parliament Oleg Valjalo (S&D, Croatia): “I think the Lithuanian Presidency was realistic, pragmatic and of very high quality. I think that we all agree with that.”
Member of the European Parliament Tonino Picula (S&D, Croatia): “I’d like to thank the Lithuanian Presidency for the welcoming word to Croatia. It was the start of the Lithuanian Presidency when Croatia became a member of the European Union, and that will unite our two countries forever.”
Member of the European Parliament Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D, Slovakia): “The Lithuanian Presidency was able to take the responsibility and deal with the issues that are important to Europe as a whole.”